Cover image for Second generation voices : reflections by children of Holocaust survivors and perpetrators
Title:
Second generation voices : reflections by children of Holocaust survivors and perpetrators
Author:
Berger, Alan L., 1939-
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xvii, 378 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780815628842

9780815606819
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library D804.195 .S43 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Descendants of Holocaust survivors and perpetrators offer profound insights into the intergenerational impact of their legacy and the second generation's role in shaping memory of the Shoah.

Heirs to the legacy of Auschwitz, the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and perpetrators have always been thought of as separated by fear and anger, mistrust and shame. This groundbreaking study provides a forum for expression in which each group reflects candidly upon the consuming burdens and challenges it has inherited.

In these intensely personal and frequently dramatic pieces, understandable differences surface. The Jewish second generation is unified by a search for memory and family. Their German counterparts experience the opposite. Yet surprising common ground is revealed. Each group emerges out of households where, for vastly different reasons, the Holocaust was not mentioned. Each struggles to break this barrier of silence. Each has witnessed the continued survival of parentsand must grapple with living in households haunted by denial. And each knows it is his or her charge to shape the Holocaust for future generations.

To be sure, there is disagreement among the groups about the need for -- or wisdom of -- dialogue. Yet Second Generation Voices boldly engenders authentic grounds for discussion. Issues such as guilt, anger, religious faith, and accountability are explored in deeply felt poems, essays, and narratives. Jew and German alike speak openly of forming and affirming their own identities, reconnecting with roots, and working through their own "psychological Holocaust".


Summary

Descendants of Holocaust survivors and perpetrators offer insights into the intergenerational impact of their legacy and the second generation's role in shaping memory of the Shoah. In these personal, and often dramatic pieces, differences surface, but common ground is also revealed.


Author Notes

Alan L. Berger holds the Raddock Eminent Scholar Chair for Holocaust Studies and directs the Center for the Study of Values and Violence after Auschwitz at Florida Atlantic University
Naomi Berger is a marriage and family therapist on the staff at the Counseling Center at Florida Atlantic University and is in private practice


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The 29 second-generation essayists in this penetrating book include both Jewish children of Holocaust survivors who live in the shadow of the death camps and the German children of perpetrators who have inherited the sins of their parents through no fault of their own. The second-generation Jews reflect an intensely personal relationship to the Holocaust legacy and a distinctive voice in responding to what the authors term "the presence of an absence." Offspring of the perpetrators, however, need to confront the enormous conflict between love for their parents and the fact that their progenitors were Nazi sympathizers, informers for the Third Reich, or passive witnesses who watched as their friends and neighbors were humiliated, robbed, and deported. Julie Goschalk, a German-born daughter of survivors, describes the different emotions confronting the two second generations as they work through relationships with parents. Liesel Appel, the German-born daughter of Nazis, turned her back on family and homeland when she discovered her legacy. "I lived a lie," she admits. "Every time I encountered a Jew, I told a lie." --George Cohen


Choice Review

This volume of personal reflections from the children of Holocaust survivors and of Germans in Nazi Germany is an important addition to the sparse but growing area of dialogue between these two groups. The pieces are usefully organized around such themes as the search for roots, inherited trauma, journeys to parents' homes and to camps, faith, identity, and language. A section on confronting a repressed past reflects the viewpoint of second-generation Germans, and a final section deals with the possibility of dialogue between these two groups. Core considerations emerge for each group. For children of survivors, there is a "presence of absence" of those relatives murdered during the Shoah. For the children of German parents, the dominant theme is one of silence about the Nazi era and their relatives' roles in it. The incentive for survivors' children is primarily to connect with their past (through their religion or by visiting their parents' prewar homes, for example). For the children of German parents who choose to confront their country's past, the issue is one of rejecting a repression of that past. The Bergers' skillful editing presents these voices in a way that is sure to stimulate further dialogue. All levels. R. A. Garnett Marshall University


Booklist Review

The 29 second-generation essayists in this penetrating book include both Jewish children of Holocaust survivors who live in the shadow of the death camps and the German children of perpetrators who have inherited the sins of their parents through no fault of their own. The second-generation Jews reflect an intensely personal relationship to the Holocaust legacy and a distinctive voice in responding to what the authors term "the presence of an absence." Offspring of the perpetrators, however, need to confront the enormous conflict between love for their parents and the fact that their progenitors were Nazi sympathizers, informers for the Third Reich, or passive witnesses who watched as their friends and neighbors were humiliated, robbed, and deported. Julie Goschalk, a German-born daughter of survivors, describes the different emotions confronting the two second generations as they work through relationships with parents. Liesel Appel, the German-born daughter of Nazis, turned her back on family and homeland when she discovered her legacy. "I lived a lie," she admits. "Every time I encountered a Jew, I told a lie." --George Cohen


Choice Review

This volume of personal reflections from the children of Holocaust survivors and of Germans in Nazi Germany is an important addition to the sparse but growing area of dialogue between these two groups. The pieces are usefully organized around such themes as the search for roots, inherited trauma, journeys to parents' homes and to camps, faith, identity, and language. A section on confronting a repressed past reflects the viewpoint of second-generation Germans, and a final section deals with the possibility of dialogue between these two groups. Core considerations emerge for each group. For children of survivors, there is a "presence of absence" of those relatives murdered during the Shoah. For the children of German parents, the dominant theme is one of silence about the Nazi era and their relatives' roles in it. The incentive for survivors' children is primarily to connect with their past (through their religion or by visiting their parents' prewar homes, for example). For the children of German parents who choose to confront their country's past, the issue is one of rejecting a repression of that past. The Bergers' skillful editing presents these voices in a way that is sure to stimulate further dialogue. All levels. R. A. Garnett Marshall University


Table of Contents

Lisa Reitman-DobiAsher Z. MilbauerDiane WyshogrodWendy Joy KuppermannNava SemelDaniel VogelmannDaniel VogelmannJulie SalamonNaomi BergerHelen EpsteinMelvin Jules BukietMichal GovrinBarbara FinkelsteinEugene L. PoganyMenachem Z. RosensaftEva FogelmanMyriam AnissimovAnita NorichMiriam Tabak Gottdank IsaacsBjorn KrondorferAnna E. RosmusBarbara RogersLiesel AppelChristian StaffaDan Bar-On and Elke RottgardtJulie C. GoschalkGottfried H. WagnerAbraham J. PeckLisa Reitman-DobiAsher Z. MilbauerDiane WyshogrodWendy Joy KuppermannNava SemelDaniel VogelmannDaniel VogelmannJulie SalamonNaomi BergerHelen EpsteinMelvin Jules BukietMichal GoverinBarbara FinkelsteinEugene L. PoganyMenachem Z. RosensaftEva FogelmanMyriam AnissimovAnita NorichMiriam Tabak Gottdank IsaacsBjorn KrondorferAnna E. RosmusBarbara RogersLiesel AppelChristian StaffaDan Bar-On And and Elke RottgardtJulie C. GoschalkGottfried H. WagnerAbraham J. Peck
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Contributorsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 Family Ties: The Search for Roots
Introductionp. 15
Once Removedp. 16
Teaching to Rememberp. 30
The Coatp. 46
The Far Country Memoirsp. 56
Part 2 Inheriting Parental Trauma
Introductionp. 65
Intersoul Flanking: Writing about the Holocaustp. 66
My Share of the Painp. 72
Five Short Poems for Sisselp. 77
The Lifelong Reporting Tripp. 79
Part 3 The Journey to Parents' Birthplaces and to Death Camps
Introductionp. 91
Coming Full Circlep. 92
Returningp. 110
Memory Macht Freip. 128
The Journey to Polandp. 141
Part 4 Issues of Faith and Religion
Introductionp. 155
Faith after the Holocaust: For One Person, It Doesn't Pay to Cookp. 156
The Path to Kaddish: Prologue to a Son's Spiritual Autobiographyp. 172
I Was Born in Bergen-Belsenp. 188
Adult Offspring of Holocaust Survivors as Moral Voices in the American-Jewish Communityp. 208
Part 5 Identity and the Yiddish Language
Introductionp. 227
A Yiddish Writer Who Writes in Frenchp. 228
On the Yiddish Questionp. 232
Shardsp. 242
Part 6 Confronting a Repressed Past
Introductionp. 257
Ratner's Kosher Restaurantp. 258
A Troublemaker in a Skirtp. 270
Facing a Wall of Silencep. 289
Honor Thy Mother: Reflections on Being the Daughter of Nazisp. 303
Meditation on Matthew 9:9-13p. 310
Working Through Doubtfulness: A Case Study of a Daughter of a Nazip. 321
Part 7 Is Dialogue Possible?
Introductionp. 335
When Children of Holocaust Survivors Meet Children of Nazisp. 336
To Be German after the Holocaust: The Misused Concept of Identityp. 344
Taking Leave of the Wrong Identities or An Inability to Mourn: Post-Holocaust Germans and Jewsp. 354
A Concluding Meditationp. 365
Indexp. 367
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Contributorsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 Family Ties: The Search for Roots
Introductionp. 15
Once Removedp. 16
Teaching to Rememberp. 30
The Coatp. 46
The Far Country Memoirsp. 56
Part 2 Inheriting Parental Trauma
Introductionp. 65
Intersoul Flanking: Writing about the Holocaustp. 66
My Share of the Painp. 72
Five Short Poems for Sisselp. 77
The Lifelong Reporting Tripp. 79
Part 3 The Journey to Parents' Birthplaces and to Death Camps
Introductionp. 91
Coming Full Circlep. 92
Returningp. 110
Memory Macht Freip. 128
The Journey to Polandp. 141
Part 4 Issues of Faith and Religion
Introductionp. 155
Faith after the Holocaust: For One Person, It Doesn't Pay to Cookp. 156
The Path to Kaddish: Prologue to a Son's Spiritual Autobiographyp. 172
I Was Born in Bergen-Belsenp. 188
Adult Offspring of Holocaust Survivors as Moral Voices in the American-Jewish Communityp. 208
Part 5 Identity and the Yiddish Language
Introductionp. 227
A Yiddish Writer Who Writes in Frenchp. 228
On the Yiddish Questionp. 232
Shardsp. 242
Part 6 Confronting a Repressed Past
Introductionp. 257
Ratner's Kosher Restaurantp. 258
A Troublemaker in a Skirtp. 270
Facing a Wall of Silencep. 289
Honor Thy Mother: Reflections on Being the Daughter of Nazisp. 303
Meditation on Matthew 9:9-13p. 310
Working Through Doubtfulness: A Case Study of a Daughter of a Nazip. 321
Part 7 Is Dialogue Possible?
Introductionp. 335
When Children of Holocaust Survivors Meet Children of Nazisp. 336
To Be German after the Holocaust: The Misused Concept of Identityp. 344
Taking Leave of the Wrong Identities or An Inability to Mourn: Post-Holocaust Germans and Jewsp. 354
A Concluding Meditationp. 365
Indexp. 367

Google Preview